Safe at Home by Lauren North

About the book

What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened?

Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can’t stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin.

Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won’t explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip.

Anna is convinced there’s a connection and that Harrie is in trouble. But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn’t know where the danger is coming from?

What I thought

This is the third of Lauren North’s books that I’ve read and this one is just as good as the other two. In fact I’d go as far as to say probably the most tense out of all three. I really felt the continuous idea that something was very wrong. ‘A wonderfully dark, addictive, intriguing and twisty read’ says the blurb and it is indeed all of these things. It certainly kept me turning the pages and with relatively short chapters that always ended on a ‘need to know more’ basis, I flew through this book.

The story is related both by Anna, the mum and 11 year old Harrie (Harriet). We know early on that something quite frightening happened with Harrie on the night of the crash, when her mum only meant to leave her for half an hour after months of Harrie pestering her to let her stay home alone, just while she went to pick up her twin sister from a class. Unfortunately there was a serious crash on the way back home which Anna was caught up in for a couple of hours.

After that night Anna feels that Harrie just isn’t herself any more and has become argumentative and sullen which is not like Harrie at all. Yet as much as Anna tries to find out what happened to Harrie, the more Harrie clams up refusing to tell.

From Harrie’s point of view we the reader are slowly drip-fed what happened that night as well as learning of the terrible secret Harrie feels forced to keep.

A fantastic thriller which keeps you constantly guessing, biting your nails and wondering where all this is going to lead. I loved it, another seriously good read from this wonderful writer of psychological suspense.

♥ Happy Reading ♥

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thank you to the publisher Transworld Digital for inviting me to read an early advance review copy via Netgalley.

The book is out in e-book format today and will be published in paperback on 30 September 2021. Available on Amazon and through other e-book retailers.

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